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editorial by Wayne Green


There is one basic reason why

the ham market has been soft

during the last year and it has nt.

tie to do with the job markel,

stagflation, or the recession.

The main reason why hams have

not been buying very much ham

gear lately is that there have

been far fewer new hams... and

this means fewer enthusiastic

newcomers looking for fun.

I! amateur radio was growing

at the rate of 11 % as it did

before the proposal 01 " Incentive

Licensing," we would be

welcoming about 75,000 new

Novices a year. That would represent

the 11% growth plus

those needed to make up for the

dropouts and silent keys. That

represents a buying market of

over $l00M. Even when you

spread thai amount around

among about 200 ham stores,

that represents another half mil·

lion dollars in sales for each


Tufts Electronics has moved

things around in their store and

set up a classroom lor teaching

the Novice course. It has been

so succeestur that they are now

planning for General and Ad·

vencec courses as well. They

have been charging $35 for the

course, which runs lor ten

weeks, one night a week. Judg·

ing from the interest shown in

the courses, Tufts is now estimating

that they will be able to

license about 50 new hams a


The money for the courses

goes for some 01 the instruction

materials, some for the fnstructor,

and the rest for advertising

and overhead. Clubs running

Novice courses have found that

the more a student has Invested

in a course, the more likely he is

to complete it . That makes

sense, when you think about it,

but the anti-profit nuisance who

turns up now and then wanting

the classes to be free louses it

up for everyone.

Perhaps you can talk this over

with your local ham supplier and

get him to set up Novice

courses. Remind him that each

Novice historically buys about

$1,500 in ham gear and books,

so it Is well worth his while to

see that we have as many newcomers

as possible. We should

also do all we can to get our

clubs to have Novice classes

and try to empty out the high

schools lor prospects. Remem·

ber that about 80% of these

teenage Novices will decide to

make electronics their career

...and they just might be the

answer to the loss of technology

to Japan.

One more reminder: The 73

series of code tapes is the

world's fastest way to learn the

code...and the 73 theory

course is the best one on the

market because it stresses

learning the theory rather than

memorizing questions and answers.

These are ideal teaching

adjuncts to any Novice class.


One of the benefits of the recent

Interest in police radar and

Its detection has been a good

deal of research on the use of

radar for cars. RCA, in particular,

has been working on the

problems and has come up with

a system which would enable a

car to automatically follow the

car ahead, keeping pace with it.

This is a small radar unit which

is connected to the cruise con ­

trol of a car, either allowing the

following of the car ahead or

else maintaining speed until a

car is detected ahead, at which

time the radar would disable the

cruise control automatically.

Speaking 01 radar, the car

magazines all seem to be of the

opinion that Reagan will be

backing an end to the 55·mph

speed limit, putting the responsibility

for speed control back

on the states. Many of the

western states are not at all enthustestrc

about the limit.

There seems to be convincing

proof that our government agencies

have been covering up the

facts about the speed limit and

have been supplying us with

highly distorted reports on the

supposed benelils. Rather than

either saving lives or oil, the

speed limit may have both increased

traffic latalities and

saved hardly any ou. The major

benefit has been to the makers

and dealers selting radar units

to the police...and detectors to

the public. Cozy arrangement.

The other major benefactors

of the speed limit have been the

CB industry and the communities

which have gotten the take

from the speeding tickets .. . billions

of dollars.

Some psychologists have

pointed out that one of the results

01 making virtually everyone

a criminal Is to alienate the

public from the police and thus

encourage crime... and reduce

the cooperation needed.

Perhaps the bright spot 01 all

this will be tne developments we

can see coming as a result of

the radar research.


Having been unable to locate

anyone who allended, I'm going

by reports from third parties:


Not only were there fewer

than 1,000 in attendance, what

few there were apparently were


We seem to be getting more and more technical questions

whose answers require more and more 01 our time which we

seem to have less and less of. We would like to revive the

Technical Aid Group concept which appeared here 10 years


Please, you wizards out there who want to help (without

compensation), send us your qualifications (experience,

degrees, area of expertise, If any, etc.) and complete address.

Then when readers have questions they can talk to an expert.

Don't take this lightly-some questions are difficult and

will require some digging. But if you can help, you might save

someone a lot of grief.

Write to Editorial Offices, 73 Magazine, Pine Street, Peterborough

NH 03458, attention: Tech Wizards.


We believe that there are many Interesting stories related

to ham radio across this wide world that are begging to be

tete. When you do travel, keep that in mind. You may be the

only outsider who is a ham to visit a hidden valley somewhere.

Neither 73 nor any other amateur radio publication has the

staff to do this adequately; we are depending on you.

When you have a trip coming up,let us know. We may have

heard about something along your route that may be of interest

to us all. You might even make a few dollars to put

toward your next trip. So, put a note pad and pencil in your

camera case and start thinking like a roving reporter.

If you are interested, send your travel plans to Editorial 01·

fices, 73 Magazine, Pine Street, Peterborough NH 03458, at ­

tention: Traveling Hams.

6 73 Magazine · April, 1981

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